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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
26. Through meditation, one-pointedly fixed upon the sun, will come a consciousness (or knowledge) of the seven worlds.

This passage has been commented upon at length by many writers for many centuries. Simply for the sake of clarity let us modernize the statement and reduce its terms to those of modern occultism.

"By constant steady meditation upon the emanating cause of our solar system will come a realization of the seven states of being."

The various terms used here serve frequently to confuse the student and it might be wise if we used only two sets of terms, one conveying the orthodox oriental terminology as found in the best commentaries, and the other the one most easily recognizable by the western investigator. Using Wood's translation we find the following:

7. Satya - the world of those Gods who are unmanifest.
6. Tapas - the world of the self-luminous Gods.
5. Jana - the lowest of the Brahma world.
4. Mahar Prajapatya - the great World.
3. Mahendra (the Egos) - the home of the Agnishvattas.
2. Antariksa - the intermediate space.
1. Bhu - the earth world.

[5-7 = Brahma; 3-7 = Svar.]

This differentiation of the world into seven [298] great divisions is also interesting in so far as it demonstrates the equal accuracy of the fivefold division which some of the commentators hold.

These seven worlds correspond to the modern occult division of our solar system into seven planes embodying seven states of consciousness and enfolding seven great types of living beings. The analogy will be seen as follows:

7. Logoic Plane Tatya World of the emanating cause.
Absolute consciousness.
World of the first aspect.
6. Monadic Plane Tapas Divine world.
World of the second aspect.
5. Atmic Plane Jana Spiritual world.
Planetary consciousness.
World of the third aspect.
4. Buddhic Plane Mahar Prajapatya Christ world.
Intuitional or Christ consciousness.
Group consciousness.
3. Mental Plane Mahendra World of the mind and of the soul.
Mind consciousness.
2. Astral Plane Antariksa World of the emotions
Kamic or desire consciousness.
1. Physical Plane Bhu Earth world
Physical consciousness.
[299] It is interesting to note certain comments of Vyasa on this differentiation, for they blend in with modern Theosophical thought.

The earth plane is described by him as "supported respectively by solid matter, by water, by fire, by wind, by air and by darkness... wherein living creatures, having been allotted a long and grievous length-of-life, feeling the misery incurred as the result of their own karma, are born." Comment here is needless.

In connection with the second plane, the astral, reference is made to the fact that the stars (the lives), on that plane are "driven by the wind as cows are driven by the plowman in a circle around the threshing floor" and that they are "regulated by the steady impulsion of the wind." We have here a wonderful picture of how all lives are driven by the force of their desires on the wheel of rebirth.

Vyasa notes that the mind world is peopled by six groups of Gods (the six groups of egos and their six rays, the six subrays of the one synthetic ray, which is apparently inferred). These are the sons of mind, the Agnishvattas (referred to at length in the Secret Doctrine and in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire) and they are portrayed as:

  1. Fulfiling their desires, therefore driven by desire to incarnate,
  2. Endowed with atomisation and other powers, therefore able to create their vehicles of manifestation,
  3. Living for a mundane period, therefore in incarnation during a world period, [300]
  4. Goodly to behold, for the sons of God are luminous, radiant and full of beauty,
  5. Delighting in love, for love is the characteristic of the soul, and all sons of God, or sons of Mind reveal the love of the Father,
  6. Possessing bodies of their own "not caused by parents," that body "not made by hands, eternal in the heavens" mentioned by St. Paul.

In connection with the fourth world, Vyasa notes that it is the world of mastery, therefore the home of the Masters, and all liberated souls whose "food is contemplation" and whose lives are "for a thousand mundane periods," therefore who have immortality.

Then he describes the three highest planes, with the great existences who are the lives of those planes and in whom we "live and move and have our being." These correspond to the three planes of the Trinity and of these existences in their various groups, the following comments by Vyasa are illuminating. He states:

  1. "Their lives are chaste," i. e., free from impurity, or the limitations of the lower forms.
  2. "Upwards there is no impediment to their thinking and in regions below there is no object obscure to their thought." They know all things within the solar system.
  3. "By them no laying down of foundations for a dwelling is made," therefore they have no dense bodies.
  4. "They are grounded in themselves... and live as long as there are creations." They are the great lives back of all sentient existence. [301]
  5. They delight in contemplation of varying kinds. Our worlds are but the reflection of God's thought and they are the sum total of the mind of God.

The ancient commentator sums up by making two basic statements which should be noted by the student. He says:

"This whole well-founded configuration stretches out in the midmost part of the (World) Egg. And the Egg is a minute fragment of the primary cause, like a firefly in the sky."

This means that our solar system is but a cosmic atom and is itself only a part of a still greater spheriodal whole. Then he states:

"By performing constraint upon the door of the sun, the yogin should directly perceive all this." Constraint is a term frequently used in translating phrases which mean "the harnessing or restraining of the modifications of the thinking principle;" in other words, perfect one-pointed meditation. By meditation upon the door of the sun full knowledge can be achieved. This means very briefly that through a knowledge of the sun within one's own heart and, through the light emanating from that sun, having found the portal of the path, one enters into relationship with the sun which is at the heart of our solar system and eventually finds that portal which admits a man to the sevenfold cosmic path. Of this no more need be said, as the object of Raja Yoga is to enable a man to find the light within himself and in that light see light. It enables him also [302] to find the door to life and subsequently to tread the path.

Only one more point need be touched upon. Esoterically the sun is regarded as triple:

  1. The physical sun - body - intelligent form.
  2. The heart of the sun - soul - love.
  3. The central spiritual sun - spirit - life or power.

In man, the microcosm, the correspondences are:

  1. The personal physical man - body - intelligent form.
  2. The Ego or Christ - soul - love.
  3. The Monad - spirit - life or power.

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